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El Segundo’s world champ Little Leaguers return home to ‘pretty electric’ celebration

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The El Segundo Little League All-Stars got a hero’s welcome on Monday, Aug. 28.

Hundreds lined up along Main Street on Monday afternoon to show their love for the world hampionship El Segundo Little League All-Star team, which brought back the lauded title after a nail-biter final game Sunday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania — which ended with a walk-off home run.

The team traveled from Los Angeles International Airport and made its way to Imperial Avenue.

Then, a short parade of SUV’s, a bus and the El Segundo Fire Department took them along Main Street before a cheering crowd. White, yellow and blue balloons, representing the team’s color, lined the street and supporters waved signs reading “Go Gundo” as the team members passed.

“I think it’s awesome,” said El Segundo’s Sandi Black after the homecoming. “These boys worked hard to get where they are now that they’re world champions.

“It was a big turnout,” she added, “bigger than I thought it was going to be.”

El Segundo Councilmember Lance Giroux was president of El Segundo Little League, which was first formed in 1954, for three years and on its board of directors for five years.

Giroux said he has known many of the current players since they were playing tee-ball and a lot of their older brothers were playing when he was president.

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday,...

    The El Segundo Little League team is welcomed home Monday, Aug 28, 2023, after they won the Little League World Series with a 6-5 victory over the team from Willemstad, Curacao in Williamsport, Pa. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

With the Little League success and community support — including raucous watch parties since the journey began — Giroux said it has been “pretty electric during this time.”

Many people don’t realize how challenging it is for teams in Southern California to get that far, Giroux said. In California’s southern region, he said, there are 440 Little League teams.

“Just to get out of California is more than any of those other teams have to deal with,” Giroux said. “So what they accomplished was truly amazing for many reasons.”

On Sunday, the champs defeated Curaçao on a dramatic home run off the hot bat of Louis Lappe in the bottom of the sixth inning. The 6-5 win culminated in a hard fought championship and the first in the city’s history.

The community celebrated the team’s run with impromptu watch parties popping up around town in restaurants such as Rock & Brews and at the El Segundo Teen Center. On Sunday, at a city-sponsored watch party at George Brett Field, hundreds cheered on their hometown team and jumped for joy when El Segundo won it all.

Patricia Palumbo has lived in El Segundo for nearly four decades and watched the Little League team triumph from her home. Her children played Little League and now she has grandchildren, 3 and 4 years old, who play tee-ball.

“One day, I’m hoping that they will get to be here, too” said Palumbo about her grandchildren playing ball. “It was just very emotional, very exciting to see these young kids win the championship.”

While El Segundo residents came out in force to cheer on the team during the parade, they weren’t alone. People from neighboring cities also came out to celebrate.

Manhattan Beach’s Julie Valentine said her son, now a college student, played Little League.

“Being a mother of a Little Leaguer myself,” Valentine said, “it’s always a thrill to see a home team prevail.”

Marina del Rey’s Luis Luna said he just wanted to support the team.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Luna said. “I mean, when’s the next time they’re gonna win?”

The next community victory party for the El Segundo team is an All-Stars Celebration Parade at noon Sunday, Sept. 10, also on Main Street.

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